Transformation Partners in Health and Care > News > Launch of a new drop-in clinic offering free bloodborne virus (BBV) testing & health screening to people experiencing homelessness

Launch of a new drop-in clinic offering free bloodborne virus (BBV) testing & health screening to people experiencing homelessness

A new drop-in clinic has launched at Health E1 Homeless Medical Centre, NEL on 24 April. The clinic offers free BBV testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, as well as harm minimisation interventions, wound care and liver screening, where possible.

The clinic is part of a six month pilot commissioned by NHS England Hepatitis C Elimination Programme, looking at improving access to HCV testing and treatment for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness through primary care in a collaborative and sustainable way.

Health E1 is one of two pilot sites. The second will be at Brigstock Medical Practice, SWL, however the pilot model will be different offering opt out BBV testing to all registered patients at the practice.  

The team’s aim was to implement a pilot model that met the holistic needs of patients which were sustainable. Some achievements to date include:

  • Collaborating with experts by experience from the start, centring their voices
  • Designed an integrated model, working with local HIV & viral hep teams to ensure pathways of care are in place and that there is collaboration between them and primary care colleagues
  • Explored partnerships with local services to incorporate in the pilot models (Health E1 partners include: St Mungo’s, Positive East, Providence Row, Hep C trust, Find & Treat, Fast Track Cities)
  • Trained clinical and non-clinical practice staff so they have the tools and skills required for the pilot. With additional training offered
  • Recruitment of GP SPIN (health inequalities fellowship) fellows to support sustainable delivery
  • Continued to build and nurture relationships with/between practice staff, primary care, local services, pathology labs and acute trusts 

A full evaluation will be carried out at the end of the pilot.

To find out more information on the pilot project please email: rf-tr.hlp-homelesshealth@nhs.net